A Guide to Muting

The League of Legends community is known for being pretty horrific.  Personally, I’ve seen a fair amount of flame in my time, and a bit too much of it was the sort that makes you understand why some serial killers end up snapping.  As a player attempting to climb the ranked ladder, and doing it pretty badly (Imagine someone with four broken limbs trying to climb an actual ladder), I found myself using the mute feature more and more to stop my brain being melted by that special type of thirteen year old on the internet.   I thought I should share the method I use so that other people can avoid the same fate.  Or people could just stop deriving pleasure from making other people feel bad (but that’s not going to happen).

 

Step 1- Champion Select

 If you’re lucky (or unlucky, depends on how you look at it), you’ll be able to spot people you need to mute in Champion Select.  Here are some things that should raise warning flags if you see them in chat.

 

“Omg those bans”

Nine times out of ten, the person that says this will complain for the whole game about the fact that a specific champion wasn’t banned, and that a specific Champion that they don’t like should have been banned instead.  Warning signs increase after someone on the other team picks a Champion and the response is “omg Fiora gg”.  If you are first pick and did the banning, mute this person as soon as you get in game.  If you were not first pick, it is worth waiting until they start moaning to mute.

 

“I’m Smurfing”

Mute this person as soon as you get into game.  Even if they are smurfing, all you will hear is how bad you are compared to players in the ‘real’ divisions.  Muting them immediately will also help you restrain yourself from smugly typing “Challenger strats” every time they (inevitably) die horribly in a stupid situation.

 

“Me Mid”

“Sorry buddy, pick order”

“Don’t feed then”

Because of Murphy’s Law, if you steal someone’s preferred position, you will feed.  Or at least die once.  As soon as you die (or, heaven forbid, give away first blood), you will be the subject of many smarmy remarks from the player you stole from.  Even though you didn’t really steal and that’s just how draft works.

 

“I’m doing my promos”

Or even worse

“Last game of my promos”

Be prepared to mute this player as soon as the game starts going downhill.  It can be nice, if you win the game, to see the “goodbye Silver!” as they are promoted to the division you can say aloud without following it with “but I just got placed there, I don’t really play ranked”, because it serves to remind you that you are not going to be trapped in the maelstrom of death that you’re currently stuck in forever.  However, should you lose the game, you will probably be subject to abuse from that player because you didn’t read their mind and Flash Ult EQWQE while dodging three different skill shots when they went in.  You know, because why wouldn’t you do that?

 

 

Step 2- In Game

Ideally, you want to mute a player before any flame starts.  If players have passed the Champion Select stage without raising any warning flags, it takes a lot of skill to pre-emptively mute them.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

If you give up First Blood

First Blood isn’t a huge factor in swaying the game anymore, but it’s never nice to have a special announcement made when you give it up.  First Blood produces less and less flame nowadays, but if you’re having a bad day and won’t be able to put up with any sort of teasing, it’s better just to go 4 man mute and play the game in peace.

 

If you are the Jungler

I have to be in a very specific mood to play Jungle.  It’s not my strongest role.  One of the reasons I avoid it like the plague in Ranked is not because I don’t play it very well (I don’t play anything very well), but because everything is the Jungler’s fault.  Everything.  If you find yourself in the Jungle in ranked, be prepared to mute.  In my experience, bot lane is the most likely to object to your existence because bot is generally considered hardest to gank.  Because you don’t have time to explain people who don’t understand that ganking them will just make them gold efficient to the enemy team again and your best bet is to snowball the other lanes, muting is a better solution.  Top lane shouldn’t give you too much trouble; it tends to be a quiet farm game up there.  The Mid laner might start mouthing off if you don’t give them “their” Blue Buff, but just mute them when you take the second one.

 

When someone hits 0/3/0

One death can be shrugged off with a “lol”.  Two is understandable- ganks happen.  Once you hit three deaths though, people start to get annoyed.  Either the person who is constantly dying will start blaming people for not calling ‘missing’ (Even when they pinged twice to say enemy missing, once to say fall back, the laner walked over their river ward and they didn’t even get an assist on the kill), or another member of the team will get annoyed and start moaning about them.  In either case, it’s not worth listening to.  Mute away.

 

If you’re having a bad day

This one is slightly more abstract, but definitely worth a mention.  When you’re stressed out, uptight, haven’t slept in days, hungry, have a headache or any number of things that might make you more irritable than usual, mute people.  It really isn’t worth it not to.  Not only will you spare yourself getting wound up by any potential flame, but it will also prevent you from ‘rage reporting’ at the end of the game, for something really not justifiable as a reportable offense, but because you were in a mood really got to you.

 

Step 3- All Chat

 All Chat is an interesting thing.  I’ve interacted with some very nice people over All Chat before, but for every nice person, there are a thousand more who will mock, flame, or just annoy me.  I play with All Chat on, and if you take that risk too you have to worry about muting another five people, potentially.

The best time to turn all chat off is when you’ve muted your entire team.  Once muted, you will quickly forget that people are/have been flaming you, and continue with the game.  However, there is nothing more annoying than seeing “For?” appear in red in All Chat.  You’ll only be seeing one side of a conversation, but it will basically be the same thing as if you were reading the in-depth analysis your team has been making of your not-even-that-bad plays.  What’s worse is seeing, a few moments later, “Okay”, because then you know you’re coming out of that game with upwards of five reports.  This is when I turn All Chat off.

I mute the enemy team, or members of it, when they are openly flaming, or when they are just being annoying.  The odd “Not even close” is fine, even slightly amusing- they don’t really mean it, but having the enemy Teemo constantly send “Nope” every time you trade with him will, it has been scientifically proven, cause you to rip out your own eyes.  Mute before that happens.

 

“Lol really 4 to kill me?” – Nasus, 30 minutes into the game.

 

Final Advice

 Mute your team if you are playing Teemo or Urgot.  People don’t tend to like that.

So You Want to Be a Support

This is what you're going to feel like...

On Summoner’s Rift, there are exactly five people on any given team: the Top Laner, Mid Laner, Jungler, ADC, and Support. The problem with this composition is that there are only three lanes, which leaves a jungler who kills neutral monsters for gold and one member of the team that doesn’t farm at all. Supports bravely volunteer for this duty, adding much needed utility to their teams. People who main support most likely have a large amount of patience, due to the fact that being a support means you have to babysit your ADC 24/7. Having a support as your main does have its perks though: you don’t need to worry about last hitting or ganking lanes, you get free gold from the three different support items (we’ll cover those in a bit), and you can always put your trust in your fellow bot lane comrade. But there’s always downsides, including (but not limited to) getting blamed for just about everything, people yelling at you to ward, and receiving hate for building a damage item or two. That aside, supporting is arguably the most important role in any game and I’m here to teach you how to do it.

This is how you will feel. Every game. Every day.

This is how you will feel. Every game. Every day.

Vision

Easily one of the most important aspects of supporting is vision. One important thing to remember: everybody on the team, no matter what role, should ward. Thanks to trinkets introduced in Season 4, this process has been made much easier. But it usually is up to the support to ward the map and keep constant vision on important objectives. For starters, the item Sightstone should always be bought in any situation. When you buy it is completely up to you, but having 4 free wards at any given time helps tremendously when scouting the map. Also make sure to buy vision wards (commonly known as “pink wards”) to eliminate enemy wards and to reveal characters in stealth. One important thing to remember is that you can only have 3 Stealth Wards and 1 Vision Ward at any given time. If you place more than the limit, your previous wards will be instantly destroyed. 

Important places to ward

Important places to ward

Crowd Control

If you line up all the supports and look at their kits, they have one thing in common. They all have a crowd control ability for protecting their allies or disabling their enemies. CC is often required to win fights in the bot lane, with battles often coming down to who can stun the other to prevent their actions. There are 12 different types of CC, with some being available to only a few champions. The types of CC are: Knockback, Knockup, Blind, Charm, Fear, Taunt, Polymorph, Snare, Slow, Silence, Stun, and Suppression.  Besides farming, your objective should be to either kill the enemy bot lane or force them out of the lane. During skirmishes between the four bot laners, CC is used to maximum effect to win those fights. A few things to remember: always use CC when escaping to impede your enemies,(even if it insures your death), use your stuns or silences when the enemy is most likely to cast abilities, and never waste your CC abilities to mess with your opponents.

That's right. Send those champs into space!

That’s right. Send those champs into space!

Items and Goldmaking

As a support, you won’t be farming or jungling. But there is a third way to make money: gold per 5 through runes and masteries, poking with the Pickpocket mastery, and in some cases just being around someone who farms. There are 3 gold making items in the game: Relic Shield, Ancient Coin, and Spellthief’s Edge. Each gives you gold per 5 as well as a different way to make gold without actually last hitting. It is recommended to upgrade and utilize your item’s effect as much as possible for maximum gold gain. Another important item as mentioned before is Sightstone, which gives your 4 wards for free and a moderately small amount of health. Always build Sightstone and one of the above gold making items. The rest of your build depends on the champion, but as a general rule caster supports build ability power and cooldown reduction while tank supports build straight health and resistances. Your trinket choice is optional as well. If you are new to the game, I recommend sticking with the traditional ward trinket.

By ten minutes, this will be you!

By ten minutes, this will be you!

Poking and Playmaking

If you are a caster support such as Sona, Soraka, or Lulu, you generally want to poke the enemy to death. The item Spellthief’s Edge and the mastery Pickpocket will constantly reward you gold for harassing the opposing bot laners with your auto attacks. For tank supports such as Alistar, Leona, or Braum you should focus on engaging your enemy making plays to force them out of lane or kill them. Use your skills and your opponents weaknesses to ensure that if you engage, you can win. Remember that no matter what support you play as your damage will often not be enough to kill a champion, so you must rely on your ADC to kill enemies. When engaging or counter-engaging, utilize any CC you have to lock down the enemy to allow your ADC to whittle their health down. If you are in the thick of things, make sure to stay and fight to ensure your play succeeds. More often then not, you soaking up damage will turn the battle in your favor, keeping your ADC safe so he can focus on eliminating your enemies. When things do go sour and you see the writing on the wall, make sure your ADC escapes. Early game, your life means nothing compared to your ADC in times of crisis. Keep him alive, and he will win you the game. When disengaging, utilize your CC to impede chasers and bodyblock anything coming towards your ADC. Trust me: you will get instant bro cred.

And try not to miss your pulls!

And try not to miss your pulls!

Synergy

When choosing a support, its generally best to pick a champion that works well with your fellow bot laner. For instance, choosing a aggressive tank like Leona might not be the best when paired with a passive farmer like Kog’Maw. New bot lane combinations are discovered all the time, but you usually want to use a pair that works. For instance, Alistar and Draven work well together because Alistar can keep Draven safe and heavily CC anyone that comes near him. On the flipside, Draven’s aggressive nature fits well with Alistar’s tankyness and abilities. All ADCs have multiple supports that are good match-ups, but there is always that one special champion that feels like they were made to be perfectly matched. Personally, I find heavy CC combos such as Jinx and Nami or high burst combos such as Graves and Leona to be extremely effective against almost any team composition. One last thing to mention: If you are a support with a pull, flip, or knockback, make sure your ADC knows when you throw a champion towards them. 

 

See how simple supporting is? It sure is an unorthodox role to play, but it definitely feels rewarding to carry your team to victory by assisting them in all manners and keeping them alive. If you’re thinking about supporting, make sure to follow this guide and you will be receiving endless praise from your team. Thanks for reading!

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